Black Earth Creek
★ ★

Black Earth Creek II

By on June 4, 2014

Blynn Road to Arena
☆ ☆

This final few hundred yards of Black Earth Creek, before it meets Blue Mounds Creek and its eventual confluence with the Wisconsin River is a trip unto it’s own, sharing no characteristics with the upstream sections of Black Earth Creek. It’s muddy, obstructed and will test the patience of the casual paddler.

Date:
May 31, 2014

Class Difficulty:
Flatwater

Gauge:
Black Earth: ht/ft: 1.76 | cfs: 37

Recommended Levels:
This were low levels. We recommend a minimum of 60 cfs for comfortable paddling.

Put-In:
Blynn Road, east of Arena, Wisconsin
Take-Out:
Arena Boat launch, Arena, Wisconsin

Time: Put in at 11:10a. Out at 1:50p.
Total Time: 2h 40m
Miles Paddled: 6.25

Wildlife: 2 Deer, 1 Turtle and a million mosquitoes.

On my previous trip down Black Earth Creek, I was disappointed that I had to cut it short and not finish my journey to the Wisconsin River. Turns out, it was the perfect way to end that trip and start this one anew because they are completely different trips and completely different creeks.

This really is a Blue Mound Creek paddle vs Black Earth Creek because in reality, you’re only on BEC for a half-mile or so before Blue Mounds Creek enters river-left and almost immediately, you know you’re on a different stretch of water. And it stays that way the rest of the paddle until the confluence with the Wisconsin River.

The trip can be broken down into three distinct environments and water qualities. The first half-mile is very much Black Earth Creek conditions with clear water and a sandy bottom (although it was a little cloudy due to recent high water). The second and majority of the paddle is on Blue Mound Creek which is cloudy, muddy and swampy all the way to the last section, where it empties into the copper-colored and sandy shallows of the Wisconsin River (also, the only highlight of the trip) .

The put-in off Blynn Road isn’t ideal but it’s manageable. I was prepared for it since I had taken out there on my previous trip but it’s not developed. Do be sure to check for ticks after wading through waist-high weeds down to the water.

This swampy creek is really twisty and has a pushy current which explains the numerous encounters with clogs and fallen logs. This is definitely a creek for creek lovers because the casual paddling fan will find it frustrating.

The gauge is practically obsolete for this last route (and I contend that this gauge reading would be too low for the more traditional Black Earth Creek sections). It’s located too far upstream and wasn’t telling of the deeper waters of Blue Mound Creek. There were no shallows to speak of and in most areas, as evidenced by Brian, (who chose to portage more frequently) it was waist-deep but I’m sure it got even deeper elsewhere judging by the eerie, swirling pools around tight corners.

Despite the wild and undeveloped nature heading towards the big river, wildlife was at a premium. We did encounter a couple deer but beyond that, it was a lot of mosquito-swatting.

The take-out in Arena is fantastic. You do have to paddle Southwest past the take-out and then back into the bay due to a giant sandbar that precludes a straightshot. But as is the case with most Lower Wisconsin put-ins/take-outs, they are easily accessible and offer plenty of parking and usually with some sort of facility.

What we liked:
The absolute and only real highlight of this trip was finally ending the creek section and making our way into the Wisconsin River. The water turned from muddy brown to that beautiful copper/root beer color of the Lower Wisconsin. Changing right before the bows of our kayaks, it was a welcome sight after a drag of a paddle.

It reminded us of our love of the Wisco and had us questioning why we weren’t out camping on this particular weekend. Truth be told, the only reason this trip doesn’t get a 1-star rating is because of this beautiful ending. We had to stop and spend a half-hour on the sandbar immediately before us because it was so incredibly nice out (which also explains the longer trip time).

What we didn’t like:
Portages. They’re everywhere and plentiful and if you don’t have patience for that kind of thing, you’ll find no enjoyment in this section. In fact, Brian spent most of the trip with his legs out on each side of his boat just prepared for the next obstacle (we did some concepting on what to call that maneuver – ideas included: saddling and pony-riding).

There are two portages, that with even the greatest amount of ramming or ducking, just aren’t passible without getting out into the muddy brown – which is some of the nastiest mud you’ll encounter. It’s the kind of mud that sticks to crevices on your feet you didn’t know existed and that you’ll be cleaning out for the rest of the week. And it smells ungodly. I often liken this kind of mud to what Andy Dufresne encountered on his escape from Shawshank.

If we did this trip again:
Brian made me promise I’d simply write “We won’t”.

***************
Related Information:
Black Earth Creek Overview: Black Earth Creek Paddle Guide
Black Earth Creek I: Walking Iron Park to Blynn Road
Black Earth Creek III: Cross Plains to Black Earth
Black Earth Creek IV: Black Earth to Walking Iron Park
Black Earth Creek V: Black Earth to Hudson Road
Miles Paddled Video: Black Earth Creek: Walking Iron Park to Blynn Road
Map: Black Hawk Trail

Map:


Miles Paddled Video:


Photo Gallery:

TAGS
RELATED POSTS
Neenah Creek
Neenah Creek

May 6, 2016

Yahara River
Yahara River XI

April 30, 2016

Mukwonago River
Mukwonago River

December 17, 2015

MILES TO DATE:

2333.50
HELLO
Miles Paddled documents canoe and kayak trips on rivers and creeks throughout Wisconsin.

Say Hello or Contribute
PADDLE REPORTS

Apple River (IL)

    Apple River
    4.20.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    East Canyon Road to South Apple River Road

Ashippun River

    Ashippun River
    9.27.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    Ashippun Lake to Ski Slide Road

Badfish Creek

Baraboo River

Bark River

    Bark River III
    4.7.17 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Highway 83 to Delafield Road

    Bark River II
    4.15.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    Merton to Highway 83

    Bark River I
    7.15.10 | ☆ ☆
    Burnt Village County Park to Fort Atkinson

Beaver Dam River

Big Bureau Creek (IL)

    Big Bureau Creek
    6.17.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Red Covered Bridge Park to County Road 1150

Big Rib River

    Big Rib River
    5.10.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Goodrich to County Road A

Billings Creek

    Billings Creek
    8.13.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    County Road F to Landing 10

Black Earth Creek

Black River

Black River: East Fork

Bois Brule River

Boundary Waters (MN)

Cannon River (MN)

    Cannon River
    5.31.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Faribault to Dundas

Carroll Creek (IL)

    Carroll Creek II
    6.21.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Point Rock Park to Jacobstown Road

    Carroll Creek I
    4.26.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Point Rock Park to Jacobstown Road

Catfish Creek (IA)

    Catfish Creek
    5.7.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Mines of Spain to Massey Marina Park

Cedar Creek

    Cedar Creek
    9.28.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    County Road M to Cedarburg

Coon Fork Creek

Covel Creek (IL)

    Covel Creek
    6.18.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    East 18th Road to Highway 71

Crawfish River

Crawfish River: North Branch

Crystal River

Dell Creek

    Dell Creek
    3.15.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    South Avenue to Dellwood

Door Creek

    Door Creek
    4.1.17 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    Femrite Drive to Fish Camp County Park

Duck Creek

    Duck Creek
    3.23.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    County Road G to Duck Creek Road

Eau Claire River

Eau Galle River

Embarrass River

Flambeau River: North Fork

Fox River

    Fox River II
    4.30.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    County Road O to Endeavor

    Fox River I
    5.14.14 | ☆ ☆
    Swan Lake to Portage Canal

Fox River (IL)

Galena/Fever River

Grand River

Grant River

    Grant River IV
    4.24.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    County Road U to Chaffie Hollow Road

    Grant River III
    4.23.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Short Cut Road to County Road U

    Grant River II
    11.21.12 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    County Road U to Chaffie Hollow Road

    Grant River I
    5.23.09 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    Short Cut Road to County Road U

Halls Creek

    Halls Creek II
    8.9.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Garage Road to Halls Creek Landing

    Halls Creek I
    6.28.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Trow Lake Dam to Halls Creek Landing

Honey Creek

Jump River

    Jump River
    8.30.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Luke’s Heights Lane to Big Falls County Park

Kickapoo River

Kickapoo River: West Fork

Kinnickinnic River

Kishwaukee River (IL)

Koshkonong Creek

La Crosse River

Lake Columbia

Lake Mendota

Lake Michigan

Lake Superior

Lake Waubesa

Lemonweir River

Little Platte River

Little Wolf River

Maunesha River

Mecan River

Mill Creek

Milwaukee River

Milwaukee River: East Branch

Mink River

Mirror Lake

    Mirror Lake II
    10.17.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Mirror Lake State Park to Lake Delton

    Mirror Lake I
    5.24.08 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    Mirror Lake State Park to Lake Delton

Montello River

    Montello River
    11.8.16-11.10.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Harrisville to 11th Road

Mormon Creek

    Mormon Creek
    8.3.14 | ☆ ☆
    Mormon Coulee Park to Goose Island County Park

Morrison Creek

    Morrison Creek
    9.19.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Cemetery Road to Morrison Landing

Mukwonago River

Mullet River

    Mullet River
    10.20.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    Plymouth to County Road M

Namekagon River

    Namekagon River
    7.16-7.19.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    County Road K to Riverside

Neenah Creek

Nippersink Creek (IL)

Oconomowoc River

Old Pearl River (LA)

    Old Pearl River
    4.3.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Crawford Landing Road to Indian Village Road

Onion River

    Onion River II
    10.11.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    County Road A to County Road V

    Onion River I
    9.23.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    County Road V to Sheboygan Falls

Pecatonica River

Pecatonica River: East Branch

Peshekee River (MI)

Peshtigo River

    Peshtigo River
    9.2.12 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Burnt Bridge to Goodman Park

Pigeon River

    Pigeon River
    12.5.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    County Road J to Lake Michigan

Pine River

Piscasaw Creek (IL)

Platte River

Plover River

    Plover River
    5.19.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    Jordan Park to Iverson Park

Prairie River

    Prairie River
    11.17.12 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Haymeadow Creek to Prairie Road

Puchyan River

    Puchyan River
    04.19.15 | ☆ ☆
    County Road J to Huckleberry Road

Red River

    Red River
    12.9.12 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Gresham to County Road A

Red Cedar River

Robinson Creek

    Robinson Creek
    7.8.12 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Old County Road I to Kelly Road

Rock Creek

    Rock Creek
    3.26.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    Lake Mills to Millford

Rock River

Root River

    Root River
    8.2.13 | ☆ ☆
    5 Mile Road to Horlick Dam

Root River: South Branch (MN)

Rubicon River

Seeley Creek

    Seeley Creek
    5.4.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    Seeley Lake to Hatchery Road

Six Mile Creek

    Six Mile Creek
    6.7.14 | ☆
    Waunakee Village Park to South Woodland Drive

Spring Creek

    Spring Creek
    4.20.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    Fair Street to County Road V

St. Croix River

Starkweather Creek

Sugar River

Token Creek

    Token Creek III
    5.22.11 | ☆
    Token Creek County Park to Cherokee Park

    Token Creek II
    8.22.09 | ☆ ☆
    Token Creek County Park to Cherokee Park

    Token Creek I
    5.2.09 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    Token Creek County Park to Cherokee Park

Tomorrow River

    Tomorrow River
    7.4.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Rolling Hills Road to Amherst

Trappe River

    Trappe River
    8.2.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    County Road WW to Wisconsin River Road

Trempealeau River

Turtle Creek

Upper Iowa River (IA)

    Upper Iowa River
    5.24.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Chimney Rock Road to Bluffton Road

Waupaca River

    Waupaca River V
    10.24.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Amherst to Durrant Road

    Waupaca River IV
    4.12.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    County Highway Q to Brainards Bridge Park

    Waupaca River III
    9.22.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    County Highway DD to County Highway Q

    Waupaca River II
    7.7.12 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    County Highway Q to Brainards Bridge Park

    Waupaca River I
    7.9.11 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    County Highway Q to Brainards Bridge Park

Wausau Whitewater Park

Wedges Creek

    Wedges Creek
    9.20.11 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Middle Road to Black River Lodge Resort

White River

Wisconsin River

Wolf River

Yahara River

Yellow Creek (IL)

    Yellow Creek
    4.19.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Bolton Road to Krape Park

Yellow River

Yellow River (IA)

    Yellow River II
    5.6.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Old Sixteen Road to Highway 76

    Yellow River I
    5.5.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Highway X16 to Old Sixteen Road

Zumbro River (MN)

    Zumbro River
    6.1.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Zumbro Falls to Millville
Support the Cause
Timothy's guidebook is out! Order on Amazon.com.



Support Miles Paddled and visit our Spreadshirt shop!